Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful when I can get to the computer to post things!
I'm thankful my sister has found a man who is good for her and for her daughter.
I'm thankful that she's having a wedding of some sort. Even though I would probably do mine differently if I could go back, I'm glad I had that special day.
I'm thankful my husband drove me to the craft store after dark. Even though I would have had more time there if we didn't all have to get ready to go, I prefer not driving so far in the dark.
I'm thankful for having friends who share the crafting bug (went to craft store to buy supplies so we can all do a project together)
I'm thankful that my children love Halloween so much that they looked at one of my stockpiled halloween magazines planning costumes and decorations for more than 30 minutes -nicely and "quietly"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for:
My children who bring me such joys and challenges as I'd never thought possible
My friends who like to spend the evening crafting
My friends who don't like to spend the evening crafting ;)
That I do have a husband, (rather than having been divorced or widowed)
That my daughters have enough undies to make it through 2 weeks (even though they might not have enough clothes to do so)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Is this really who I am?

I think that I'm probably lazy and self-involved. Great, just what I was aspiring to be.
I wasn't always. I've been beat down a bit and am in protective mode some so I see how I got here. Now, though, is the time to pull out of it. Now, though, is a time when my brain isn't working so well and my body is exhausted. I simply don't remember to be the friend that I want to be, or worse yet, courses of action don't even occur to me.
But, here's what I also am - scared. It is way less risky to be lazy and self-involved than it is to put myself out there. When phone calls go unreturned, invites go unanswered, or confessions go unsupported, I withdraw a little more. When I see a group of friends getting closer, and I'm not included, I withdraw a little more.
I've spent most of my years being the opposite of lazy and self-involved for my friends. I still never had the closeness I desired and always ended up being used and/or abused in some way.
But here I am now at 31 and I don't know what a healthy friendship is. Yes, I have friends and I don't think any of them are using or abusing me, but I don't know what it is I'm supposed to do. Those specific things I mentioned up there - those have happened to me with my current group of friends. I recently read and article that said not to take those types of things personally, that the other person probably is just busy. That may be the case sometimes, but I think there is something about me that puts out an "unimportant" vibe, or "uninteresting", "tiring", "not friend material" something. I've confessed to having a public persona and here I've just said I was lazy and self-involved so I can see how I can put off a negative vibe - I don't know how to make friends and I'm scared of rejection. I don't know what to do about it and I'm afraid my lack of "skills" is hurting someone.
My husband is home now so I'll post this and continue later.

I don't know where I was going

I'm not sure why those words came out of my mouth last time. About my niece, I mean. She is a wonderful girl. I'm just weary and spread thin and was not handling her need for constant interaction very well. She's an only child who has had reason to not feel very stable in her life (through circumstance only, the intentions of her/my family have always been the best at heart) so it makes sense for her to have this need. It is true that she is babied and requires a lot of work but that was not something I necessarily should have spoken about, as it is my problem in handling it not hers.
I'm sure at the heart of it is my jealousy. My sister lives closer to my mother than I do and has always relied on my parents to care for my niece. Sister and niece lived with my parents for several years. When she was a toddler, niece was with my parents constantly even traveling with them when they went out of town. Even now, she sees them almost every day and regularly spends the weekend with them. Keeping up with my niece has been an excuse on many occasions why my parents couldn't visit with my kids.
When my sister started talking about having another baby in the near future, I was upset. Partly because she expects my parents to raise this child too and they're hardly in condition to do it and partly - mostly - because of what it would mean for my kids. I already keenly feel their lower status in my parents' lives, but add a baby to the mix and well, I'm afraid we'll be reduced to holidays only. Which is how it is for some families, but we live only 40 minutes away. I confessed these feelings to my mother and in the nicest way possible she said Too bad, I'm going to choose your sister and any child she has every time.

Recently niece's dad (for future reference, I will probably never call him step-dad as she has no relationship with her bio-father) has been laid off so he has been getting her after school. I can't tell you how many times my mother has told me how much she misses my niece, at any rate, it feels like more than she has told me she misses my kids. When on the phone with my sister early last week, to discuss niece staying with me. I mentioned that I was surprised to find out that on my sister's rare day off work that my niece was staying with my mother. -Yeah [husband] and I wanted to spend some time together today. And mom calls me everyday to ask if she can have [niece] over. She always tells me how much she misses her, how her heart hurts to be away from her so much, so I decided to let her spend today with her since I wasn't letting her stay the whole week [of spring break]. - Really, I say, because when my kids are with them all they talk to me about is how soon I can come pick up the kids. Which is true, there's never been a visit where each phone conversation doesn't include this question. Never a visit where I don't get the distinct feeling they've overstayed their welcome. Which is typically 2 nights every 6 weeks or so. But I blurted that out without even realizing it. I think I said it pretty matter-of-factly. I didn't then and don't now think my sister told me what she did to hurt me, she was just telling me and her reply to me was a sort of shocked moment later, oh well, she's always telling me how much she misses your kids too... - you know the kind of add on statement someone makes when they realize they've stuck their foot in their mouth. Anyway, it wasn't something I meant to say, it probably wasn't something I should have said. I think though, that it was something that was repeated. This time my mom had offered to keep the kids while she had my niece on spring break, but it just wasn't working out so she said she'd keep them a couple of days starting Easter night. On a usual stay, this would mean I'd get them on Tuesday afternoon. But on Tuesday, my husband, seeing my emotional state, called my mom and asked if they could stay until Wednesday, after consulting my dad, she said yes. Then on Wednesday, I asked if we could pick up the kids that evening (when Hubs would be there to drive instead of me) - and she said Yes. Hubs and I both noted several times that we were not asked when we were coming to get the kids. On Wednesday it dawned on me that sister must have said something to mom, although nothing was said to me. I'm not sure how I feel about it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A decent week

I had a pretty good week last week except for Saturday. It was spring break, but that doesn't mean much because my kids are not in pre-school this year. I did have my niece for a couple of nights though. She's an only child who has been mostly raised by my mother since my sister is a single mom. Or was a single mom. She is recently married to a younger (but not much) man who is really good for her. Yes, they have their issues, but she is a much better mom now that he's around and he's pretty natural with kids. Which isn't necessarily expected of men, especially men in their young to mid 20's. I digress. There was a point when I didn't like to keep my niece because she was SO much work. She was "babied" in so many ways (sometimes this is behaviour from the adults because they don't want to deal with the work or additional mess/time it takes to get a child to do things for themselves). It was harder to look after her than it was to look after my 2 girls. She doesn't necessarily adapt well to doing things differently in different households. This is especially true of eating. I don't let my kids snack all day and we rarely eat sweets. This is hard on my niece and she whines "all day" because of it. Especially for sweets. Which is exactly why I have a no more than 1 sweet a day rule. Once they have a treat they know to stop asking. If they do ask again, a reminder is usually all they need. There are of course special days, like Easter, where the rule is relaxed, but they still have to eat fruit and veggies.
Obviously this post is a little meandering. I just haven't posted in a while and felt I should. Now I feel I should stop! HAHA!

Friday, April 10, 2009

So I mentioned this last week

I said I was waiting to hear back from a blogger I like on whether or not she minded being quoted... then I realized that even though I "replied" to a message that displayed her e-mail, it actually went nowhere because of internet blog stuff that I don't understand. So, I tried again this time asking her in a comment on another post and she responded quickly, but I haven't been checking. So if this preface is long enough for you, I'd like to present Dancing Mermaid. She is a soulful lady who brings art to kids, magic to strangers, and a feeling of connection to kindred spirits throughout the internet.
This is her post that I wanted to share last week as my Thankful Thursday post, because I am thankful I found her, I am thankful for her words which are often reflections of my feelings but put more beautifully than I am able, words that help me feel not so alone and words that show me the light side when I am stuck in the dark.

"a bit on being happy….

happiness is not passive.
it does not gently take your hand and
lead you to a magic fountain where you live
happily ever after.

happiness requires action.
happiness takes balls.

it does not care if you need to lose 20 pounds.
it does not care how many designer shoes you have.
it does not care how many times you’ve made the same mistake.
it does not care that you are tired.
it does not care how much money you have.
it does not care how bad he hurt you.
it does not care how dirty your house is.
it does not care how broken you feel.
it does not care what color you are.
it does not care what you did yesterday.
it does not care about the reasons it won’t work.
it does not care that you want to give up.
it does not care that she has more than you.
it does not care how scared you are.
it does not care how many facebook friends you have.
it does not care about what is fair and equal.

and most of all,
it does care about waiting for the right time.

happiness responds to fighters.
the ones that have no reason to hope
but get up each day and love it anyway.

happiness favors those who decide
that instead of being a victim today,
they are going to be the hero
by finding gratitude and grace
even under the most painful of circumstances.

no, happiness is not passive.
it is a kick ass warrior goddess
who is not afraid to rock her own world."

Sometimes in my crankiness, I forget that it's not just about getting rid of the crankys. You do have to get rid of them, but that doesn't equal happiness. You also have to find happiness, and sometimes that can be just as hard.

ACK this time I really did forget

Oh so today is Friday, that means yesterday was THURSDAY!

The number one thing I'm thankful for is that no harm came to us from the woman who came up to our house asked my 5 year old(who was looking out the living room windows) to open our front door.

Friday, April 3, 2009

PS Thankful Thursday

I didn't forget Thankful Thursday, (until I did), I was hoping to hear back from a blogger if I could quote one of her posts. I'm going to wait a few more days before I share it with you. I'd like to quote her words here because she says things so much better than I could and because she speaks to my heart. If I don't hear back from her soon, I'll just do a post linking to her blog.
For now:
I'm thankful GR finally coordinated all of her, umm "bodily functions", at the same time so there are no more pull ups, day or night!
I'm thankful AT is the kind of person who always gives people compliments. It's VERY nice to hear "You look beautiful, Mommy" and "You're a good Mommy because you [hug and kiss us/read stories/make food for us/just because]"
I'm thankful AK said he loves me for the first time (he's 20 months old)
I'm thankful Hubs gave the kids a bath last night when I was just too fed up to do it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Public Persona

A lot of people have a public persona, I think. Even ones who are usually happy and content in their lives have bad days but still have to interact with the world. There are some people who have such a carefully crafted public persona that no one would ever guess what was going on "at home" until something bad happens. But there are less extreme fakers too: they are all smiles and friendly while they steal from you, spread rumors, or plot lies to get out of spending time with you. There are the fakers who seem happy and well off when in fact they are on the brink of financial ruin just to keep up that facade - to impress people who are probably fakers themselves. And then there's your average, run-of-the-mill public persona. The person who can say "I'm doing OK" "Everything's fine" and smile and laugh but really they are sad and feeling isolated, for no good reason except they are depressed. At least I'd like to think of my public persona as being average. The part that can smile and laugh is a real part of me, the part I wish I was more often. And the other part is kinda "fake it to make it". When I'm with my friends, I just enjoy being around them and in a way I forget what's going on and "I'm OK" isn't really such a lie. I feel relaxed, comparatively, when I'm with them. Still, part of me is missing. Part of me has been eaten up by stress, pain, exhaustion and depression. And even though I can shield some of that when I'm with others, it's just that - a shield. It may "protect" them from my darker side but it also keeps some of the good stuff from projecting out too. But, for now, I'll keep it. I need it. It's not that it's not real, just that it allows me to forget some of this other junk.

Who are you?

I can't help it, I wonder who are the people who live near me that are reading this. I don't know, I think it is connected to what ever it is that likes to know where other bloggers live. Like knowing their physical location makes them seem more real and not some entity made up of HTML/CSS coding. Not all stalkery, but in a "this is my town and these are fun things to do here" type way. But those who live near me could be IRL friends who just haven't piped in, which doesn't seem like any of my IRL friends! But then again some of them have said that I seem to be "on top of things". And now I'm traveling down a whole other road whose residents are self-doubt, timidity, masks, endless analyzing, friendship envy (as in I envy those who are able to make friends easily), and one of the core reasons I started this style of blog. On the surface it may seem that I started it simply to complain about Hubs, but really, I started it to get that off my chest. I hope that doing that helps me to stop projecting those pent up feelings of angst. By telling people, "hey this is really where I am in life" I hope to shed the layers of public persona and just be me. And the real me isn't so cranky. I miss the real me and am trying to expel the cranky, depressed and just plain tired person who can barely hold a conversation much less be witty, who is having trouble connecting. OK so this went from "Who are you?" to "Who am I?" and even with some severe editing, this is still a little hard to follow. So, um, where was I? Oh yeah, I better go to bed!

Thankful Thursday

Or perhaps sarcastic Thursday. Perhaps you noticed way down at the bottom of this post, carelessly thrown in, I mentioned Hubs bad driving. He got another ticket and another citation for having an expired tag. Last time (on his car) I had paid the fee and sent in the paperwork but he didn't get an emissions test until the day it was due and never called it in. This time (in a car that's in my name but I practically refuse to drive) I was accused of not paying for the tag. I searched all over and didn't find any misplaced renewal notice. So I trudged on down to the tag office. (Well, to be fair to the office, they seem to move smoothly and there are usually less than 5 people in front of me, but since I'm whining I'm going with "trudged" - hey it is a 30 minute drive over about 10-12 miles (depending on the route)) Anyway - I trudge on down to the tax office hauling 4 kids with me (who were angels BTW) only to find out that the reason I couldn't find any errant renewal notices is because I filed it in the paid bills when I paid it in February. The reason it wasn't renewed is because, surprise, Hubs didn't get the emissions test done.
I'm thankful that it wasn't my fault the tag was expired.